HOSTING one of the most coveted triathlon has always been a dream and when it happened in Davao City, it’s just fitting that we celebrate for making it a great one.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, in a statement, said she was grateful for the successful staging of the prestigious Alveo Ironman 70.3 Davao triathlon on March 25, Sunday.
“Ironman 2018 was near perfect,” she said after the Sunday event that a number of Ironman world champions and local celebrities. “Thank you to all the Dabawenyos who all came together to put on a great event,” the mayor added.
She also noted the cooperation between Davao City and the cities of Tagum, Panabo, Samal Island, and the town of Carmen in Davao del Norte.
“Davao is strong because of the Dabawenyos’ proud and resilient spirit,” she said.
Ironman Davao was “more memorable” because of zero serious injuries and accidents, she said.
The local government of Davao and the Ironman organizers also received positive feedbacks from the participants.
Top seed Australian Tim Reed, who finished second to Mexican Mauricio Mendez said “Davao put on quite a show.”
The Ironman event in Davao, he said, had an “amazing atmosphere that rivaled #IM703Philippines in Cebu, which is no small feat.”
“Really tough racing,” he said on his Instagram post. “Huge thanks Sunrise Events and Davao City for making this race happen.”
Another athlete was impressed by the secured race, noting the divers and human buoys at the swim course and security forces along the bike and run courses.
“Davao is my new fave race. The Best and safest swim ever,” said an unnamed racer in a feedback sent to Mayor Sara.
The support of cheering locals was also recognized by the participant.
“The entire 90 km bike leg was filled with locals cheering for everyone and there’s a policeman every 10m, I think. They were there as early as 3am. The run was really hot, but again filled with support by the locals. Really impressive,” the racer said.
One participant from Manila also described Ironman Davao as “the closest to Ironman in Europe.”
The warm welcome that the participants received from spectators in Carmen, Panabo, and Tagum also cheered the athletes — who endured an extremely hot Sunday weather.
The Sunday event was the first one to be staged in Davao and in Mindanao where 1,782 participants across 39 countries competed in the 1.9- kilometer swim, 90-kilometer bike, 21-kilometer run competition.
Duterte-Carpio, who’s also an enthusiast, during the press briefing at the Azuela Cove on March 23, said that she has been waiting for an opportunity for the city to host the event since 2012.
"I have always wanted to do an Ironman since my first term as mayor in Davao City. I am nervous but happy and excited," she said.
Duterte-Carpio also welcomed the participants who came here despite the martial law. She wishes the participants experience Davao City the best way possible.
The race which was co-presented by Petron, Department of Tourism and Tourism Promotions Board and hosted by the City Government of Davao and the Azuela Cove was touted almost perfect and due to the performance, the city’s hosting next year is a sure-blow.
The international triathlon event gathered around 1800 athletes from 39 countries.
Mayor Sara also recognized the role of the private sector in the success of the event.
Tristan Dwight Domingo, the Assistant City Administrator for Administration, echoed this.
“We are very thankful to the different agencies, for the security forces for putting all their efforts in the event, our partner LGUs of Panabo, Carmen and Tagum, and of course our sponsors,” Domingo said.
Mauricio Mendez of Mexico won the championship in the professional category for men, while Radka Kahlefeldt from the Czech Republic, who gave birth just 10 weeks ago, won the professional female category.
Mendez and Kahfeldt’s victory ended the dominance of Australians in the Ironman events.
Sunrise Events general manager Princess Galura also expressed their gratitude to those who worked behind the event’s success. She said the staging of the event was just “perfect.”
“Congratulations to Davao City for a wonderful event. The level of organization was perfect to the smallest detail. Everyone felt safe in the course,” Galura said.